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Watch: An Interactive Documentary Modeled On Internet Porn

Ten-second teaser clips? Limited time subscriptions? It’s not pornography; it’s an interactive documentary about pornography.

It’s an artful documentary steeped in the traditions of cinéma vérité. But to anyone looking over your shoulder, you’ll just be watching porn.

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I Love Your Work, by Jonathan Harris, profiles the lives of nine women who produce lesbian pornography. It’s roughly six hours of footage, all broken down into 2,202 separate 10-second clips captured five minutes apart.

Why the gimmick? “10-seconds is the length of the free video teasers traditionally offered by Internet porn sites, enticing viewers to pay to see more,” Harris tells Co.Design. “This 10-second video format is unique to porn, making it personally familiar to many, but only from private encounters. It seemed interesting to adopt that same time format to film the private lives of porn stars–like offering teasers for everyday life.”

The parallels to Internet porn don’t stop there. Even the documentary itself is hosted at a subscription website–$10 buys you 24 hours of access, and only 10 tickets are sold a day. There, the user is given total access to scrub through the entirety of the film, which can be explored with the timeline-driven precision of a nonlinear video editor.


“The interface is meant to evoke the limitless, instant-access experience of browsing for porn on the Internet, where you look for something titillating, consume it instantly, and then move on to something else the moment you get bored,” Harris explains. “But in this case, you’re mostly consuming images of everyday life, which creates a strange disconnect.”

Indeed, even though the film is constructed just 10 seconds at a time, the interface itself destroys your attention span. Within a minute, I find myself clicking around the narrative. Admittedly, my initial impulse is to spot the relatively few and far between sex scenes–squinting for the fleshy thumbnails denoting the women at their day jobs. But then I begin clicking randomly in hopes of sheer surprise. The sex really is quite boring compared to the gloriously mundane moments of a random drive-thru order, a silent apartment at 3 a.m., or a peek into the contents of a figure-conscious actress’s fridge.

Ultimately, I realize that, from the privacy of my computer screen, I’m viewing something a lot more intimate than on-camera sex. I’m looking at people’s unedited lives. And what could be more penetrating than that?

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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